Tag Archives: biblical

New title! The Kasbah Chronicles

Fall 2011

Friend and e-marketing expert Chris Pemberton came up with the catchy Kasbah Chronicles during a brainstorming session held over a strawberry waffle smothered in an Everest of whipped cream, specialty of the DipSea Café, in Mill Valley (CA). In addition to having brainstorms, Chris manufactures exotic spice blends such Moroccan ras-el-hanout, which he markets through his website, http://www.originspices.com. Merci, Chris!

 August took me to a number of venues in California, to give presentations on Moroccan cuisine and culture. 


The French Culinary Institute (Campbell, CA)

Seventy participants attended my talk in my hometown library, inVista (CA). What fun to see you all. Shokran to others in the Bay Area, who came to hear me, talk to me, or sample my food, first at the impressive International Culinary Center/French Culinary Institute in Campbell (CA),  then at the charming library set among the vines in St Helena (Napa Valley), Le Creuset’s outlet stores in Gilroy and Vacaville (I got to cook with Le Creuset's rainbow-colored, cast iron enamel tagines!) and Omnivore Books, a cookbook collectors' heaven in San Francisco. http://www.omnivorebooks.com.

At Omnivore Books. Stuffed dates? Are you serious?

(If you come up with a better caption, please let me know!)

As luck would have it, I took the opportunity  to visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and the Contemporary Jewish Museum, both featuring works from the collections of Leo and Gertrude Stein. Gertrude Stein was one of my "literary heroines when I attended study university. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would one day stand in the middle of her recreated  "living room" amidst the Steins' awe inspiring collection of early twentieth century art.

 I know Fall is finally here because of the prolific crop of figs weighing down our Long Yellow tree. The abundance of fruit provides the impetus for ferreting out recipes that incorporate fresh figs! Please, please, share your ideas with me! Our scottie, Olive, is dedicated to the task: She eats figs that fall to the ground, but not before daintily removing their skin.

 THE HOLIDAYS are ALMOST UPON US:  Put up jars of preserved lemons! They make a great gift! The best Moroccan preserved lemons are the ones you make yourself! OR fill gift boxes with these Moroccan confections. Many presentation attendees requested the recipe for the almond and sesame seed selloh "truffles" I served as samples. 


Kitty's Selloh

Toasted Flour, Honey, Butter, Sesame and Almond Truffles

Makes about 50 (one inch) truffles

 Selloh, a traditional Moroccan confection made of ground almonds, ground sesame.seeds, and toasted flour, is usually served during the month of Ramadan. Moroccan cooks traditionally present it in a mound. If the mixture is too crumbly to form little truffles, add more melted butter. The recipe appears in my first cookbook, Come with me to the Kasbah: A Cook’s Tour of Morocco.

 1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/4 cups whole blanched almonds, toasted

1 cup (about 6 ounces) sesame seeds, toasted

2 tablespoons aniseed, toasted

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Powdered sugar for coating

 In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, toast the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours in batches, stirring frequently until the mixture emits a pleasant, toasted aroma and turns light brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the cinnamon and the sugar. Set aside.

 In a spice grinder, finely grind in increments, the almonds, sesame seeds, and aniseed. Add to flour mixture. Stir in honey and butter. Mix well with your hands.  If the mixture is too crumbly to form little truffles, add more melted butter.

 Sift powdered sugar into a large bowl. Roll 1 level tablespoon of the selloh mixture between your palms to make balls 1-inch in diameter. Gently toss the truffles in sugar to coat. Set them in fluted paper cups. Selloh keeps well for up to 4 weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Saturday, October 1

I team up with award-winning Chef Bernard Guillas of

The Marine Room in La Jolla


Macy’s Mission Valley School of Cooking

1555 Camino de la Reina

San Diego CA 92108

Reservations: (619) 291-1111


Noon to 1:30PM

Free and Open to the public


Until next time! 

NOTE: I am trying to free up shelf space and have posted a list of cookbooks for sale on the page titled:

Cookbooks for sale from my private collection. Please e-mail me for additional information. 



August 28, 2010: Book Signing in Camarillo (CA)

August 2010:

I’d love to meet you!

Drop by Le Creuset’s company store in Camarillo (CA) on Saturday, August 28th. I’ll be holding a cooking demonstration and book signing. And I will show you how to make REAL Moroccan preserved lemons.

Saturday, August 28


540 E Ventura Blvd., Suite 1356

Camarillo, CA 93010 (on the way to Ventura and Santa Barbara)

Phone: (805) 482-2403


July 2010:

 Saturday, July 31, 2010 11AM to 1PM at Earth Song Books and Gifts, a lovely store in the heart of old Del Mar (CA). I will sign copies of A Biblical Feast and Cooking at the Kasbah: Recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen. Drop in for a chat and a taste! Earth Song 1440 Camino del Mar Del Mar, CA 92014 (858) 755-4254 EARTHSONGBOOKS@YAHOO.COM

A Biblical Feast (continued)


FINALLY!  The book is now listed on Amazon.com for all the world to see! Just in time for Easter and Passover!

Distribution continues apace. The book is finding a home in gift shops attached to historic California Missions up and down the coast, as well as at selected universities (Palomar College, University of San Diego) , and my alma mater, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (my other "hometown"!)

This marketing challenge has deepened my respect for the blogging world, and for the food bloggers who diligently impart information, recipes, and photographs on an almost daily basis. How DO they do it? But then, they must not be writing a memoir with recipes, the all-encompassing task that is occupying most of the time I spend at the computer.   


Send this e-letter along to friends. The person who invites the most referrals to my site will receive a signed copy of my book (Tell them to mention your name when they contact me!) 

It’s raining limes! (Again)


 I feel so sorry for my citrus trees. The weather has been so mercurial that they can’t tell if it’s summer, Fall, or spring. We have had several heat waves at the oddest times, which has spurred fruit to ripen prematurely perhaps, and in doing so, splitting before falling to the ground. A Google search yielded nothing much in the way of combatting the situation. I just hope this isn’t permanent.

I would suggest, if you have YELLOW limes (such as Bearss or Key limes) or lemons, to preserve them for future use, or to give away. I have made preserved lemon addicts in my own circle of friends, many of whom requested a jar! That certainly made Christmas shopping easier!

Marketing my reprint of A Biblical feast: Ancient Mediterranean Flavors for Today’s Table occupies most of my time (no citrus existed in Biblical Times, save for the Etrog citron, perhaps), instead of lemon juice, I use a touch of vinegar or a spoonful of pomegranate molasses to impart a fruity, citric flavor to some of the biblically-inspired dishes. 

A  new decade, and a new project:  I have tested many of the recipes for my preserved lemon book. Time to harvest today’s pickings.


A bientot,